Name: Tuannisha Santana
Title: Construction Coordinator
Company Name: Hylan Datacom & Electrical
What was your greatest professional achievement or most notable project in the last 12 months?
My greatest achievement is being given the opportunity to manage an extensive project we are working on with ZenFi and CityBridge, one of Hylan’s fastest growing partnerships, particularly within our Hylan Datacom & Electrical division. The project will expand 5G access and bring free high-speed Wi-Fi and other critical services to more New Yorkers in more neighborhoods across the city. I’m honored to contribute to this initiative, which is part of the largest free public Wi-Fi network in the US and is a huge step toward narrowing the digital divide.
What advice would you offer to other women getting into the construction industry?
I would tell them to learn every possible aspect of the industry, and to continuously look for ways to improve. At the end of the day, it’s worth it when you are acknowledged for your hard work and dedication to the company. I would also tell other women to never be intimidated, and to show up every day with a strong, determined mindset.
Why should women consider a career in construction?
First of all, it’s definitely not boring. Every day brings new and exciting challenges, and the crew that I work with keep me on my toes. They’re always finding new ways to challenge me, and we’re constantly learning and growing together as a team. Additionally, a career in construction in itself is rewarding. When my daughter and I are walking through the city, for example, I can point out the Wi-Fi kiosks and say, “Your mommy is part of the reason those are there and why so many people now have free Wi-Fi access.”
Starting out in the construction business, who or what empowered you?
From day one, my colleagues and supervisors have taken the time to share their knowledge of the industry. The skills I learned and their faith in my abilities has given me the confidence to trust my own decisions and to continuously push myself to advance within the industry.
Who within your own firm has helped you succeed within the construction industry?
I started off in the MDU division, where I worked with a great team. Then I transferred to the civil division where I met “Mad Man” John Gambino. John taught me almost everything that I know today about the construction industry. My success in the company is due to John’s trust in me and him allowing me to create my own path. I can also credit John for my nickname: ‘Lady Tee with Sass.’